Health awareness

Merck joins the World Cancer Day movement to push for progress

Cancer is one of the most significant health challenges of our time – cutting lives too short for far too many people.

February 1, 2020

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At Merck, we’re passionate about driving advances in cancer research because, like all those we’re trying to help, we’ve been touched by the disease too.

On World Cancer Day, we stand united with everyone bravely facing cancer, as well as with all the healthcare providers, researchers, policymakers, regulators and advocates who, with us, are persevering to create a world without this disease. 

We’re proud to support the Union for International Cancer Control, joining this year’s “I Am and I Will” campaign that focuses on inspiring people to take individual actions to push for progress against cancer. Our team members across the country are answering this call, sharing who they are and how they will help to create a cancer-free world.

Watch our video to learn more about our individual “I am I will” commitments.

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The impact of cancer

Through visionary research and collaborative action, breakthroughs have been made in certain types of cancer, with the death rate from cancer in the U.S. declining steadily over the past 25 years. As of 2017, the cancer death rate for men and women combined had fallen 29 percent from its peak in 1991.

Employees holding their "I am I will" cards

But too many people still face the scourge of this disease:

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Based on data from 2017, cancer remains the second leading cause of death in the U.S. after heart disease

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American men have approximately a 40 percent risk of being diagnosed with invasive cancer during their lifetime; for women the risk is approximately 39 percent

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More than 1.8 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2020

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Approximately 600,000 deaths from cancer are expected to occur in the U.S. in 2020